There are some amazing, entertaining and interesting ladies I’ve met during my stay in the J-blogosphere. Every now and then, I get a chance to collaborate with some of them, or at least get interviewed. :)
I am so happy to be over at Miriyummy today. As you can probably guess from the name of her blog, she writes about yummy food. Very yummy food, and she writes with aplomb and entertaining prose. I enjoy reading her blog as much as I do following her recipes.
I got the idea for this poll after having a conversation with my friend, E. She was mentioning something about paying bills or managing finances. It came out in the course of the conversation that my husband manages all of our finances.
She was surprised, since in her marriage, she’s the one who handles all the finances.
This exchange made me wonder how common either arrangement was. I think it’s fairly subjective, depending on who is the breadwinner, who is good with money, how we were raised, and so on.
The results of the poll were split evenly into thirds, which, besides being cool, I guess means that each of these systems works well.
When I say my husband manages the finances, I mean that he is in charge of paying the bills, balancing the accounts, and whatever other money-management stuff he does. This is an arrangement we’ve had since we got married. Mainly, it’s because I was so pathetically lousy with money as a single girl that I didn’t want to taint whatever little money we had to work with.
Now we have an arrangement where I have a general budget for items such as food and basic household necessities (toilet paper, dish soap, etc.), and we review that budget to see if it needs to be expanded, or if it can be contracted (someday soon I’m going to really apply Mara at Kosher on a Budget’s wisdom and watch my bills shrink!).
Anything bigger than that warranted a discussion which basically goes like this: “Honey, can we afford to get a ____ right now?” And then the answer is either yes or no. No really meant we’d wait until we could afford it, and usually, whatever it was could wait. This is partly why we lived with just one car for quite some time after it was comfortable to do so.
We have a “things to buy someday” list, and as the bills are slowly whittled away, we are able to get these things, one at a time. But our main goal right now (see, I know what it is ’cause we discussed it) is to pay off the substantial debt from college, med school, and living off a resident’s salary.
For the most part, though, I’m in the dark about how much the bills are, and indeed, what they are. I do my part, you know, turning off lights when I leave the room, and, um, turning off lights when I leave the room. Well, every little bit helps, right?
At times, this system has made me feel a bit like a relic. When our previous apartment was being shown, the first time the realtor and potential tenants asked me how much the utilities were, I mumbled something about my husband paying the bills and that he would email the realtor with the info. I felt like I was somehow representing the stereotypical image of a subjugated wife who lives on a stipend controlled by her husband (which is kind of true, except for the subjugated part).
But the difference is that I chose this. This is what works for our marriage. It’s a good arrangement. I don’t second-guess my husband’s financial choices (mainly); I feel like I can buy things I need, but I also don’t just go out and spend thoughtlessly either. I make sure that whatever I buy is within the budget.
That’s my story. Now go and vote in the newest poll. Much thank to Juliya Sheynman for the idea! It’s up in the sidebar. :)
Wow, I really left that poll up for ages, didn’t I? Well, the results are definitely in:
In our house, we mainly call each other by nicknames (Honey, or Honeychik/Honeychka – the Russian influence and all), or Tatty/Mommy. We do use our proper names, but with the little parrot in our house (Little Man, that is), it has started to be amusingly problematic.
Just last week, I was calling to my husband, who was in another room. Immediately after I did so, Little Man did a perfect imitation, inflection and all, of my husband’s name. And kept repeating it for some time. It was really cute, but not exactly something I was going to encourage.
And then yesterday, when Little Man wanted me to bring him a snack, he again said my husband’s name, then looked at me.
“What’s my name?” I asked the little tyke.
“[my husband's name, with that same inflection - do I really sound like that? yikes.]“
“I’m Mommy,” I say.
“[again with my husband's name]“
You can see where this is going. Anyways, it’s pretty funny. But now I really have to be mindful of what I call my husband.
We do joke around about how it’s funnily/creepily Oedipal to say things like, “I love you, Mommy.” I mean, really? Ew. Also, we end up referring to each other by Mommy/Tatty even when the kids are sleeping. Or when we’re out at a restaurant. Or whatever. So it’s got some quirky side effects, but overall, it doesn’t faze me. Just another unexpected kick of parenting. At least this one isn’t physically gross, unlike other parenting experiences.
Check out the new poll in the sidebar (yeah, over there). Let me know where you stand.
These past couple of days I’ve felt guilty for making a small joke, or playing with my boys, or being frustrated by their normal antics. How is it that I can smile, laugh and enjoy myself, or have the chutzpah to be annoyed with my kids, when there is a family, and indeed, a community, who are utterly devastated right now?
As I was saying brachos and Shemonah Esrei, I was thinking about the words, and wondering why Hashemlet this horrible thing happen. I know that I’m not going to get any answers, or at least any easy ones. It’s not the kind of news story that just fades away easily. This has shaken many people on a very fundamental level. I can’t even really express any of the emotions without resorting to clichés.
Anyways, I wanted to post some links that I found helpful or comforting:
If anyone knows of any additional articles or words of comfort, I would appreciate if you could leave them in the comments section.
Also, please take the time to email a condolence email to the Kletsky family at this address: Leibykeltsky [dot] letters [at] gmail.com. They will get the notes to the Kletskys, and are hoping to have over 10,o00 letters before Shabbos.
Have a good Shabbos, everyone, and give your kiddos and loved ones an extra squeeze in gratitude.
[Amusing sidenote: I wrote this on Friday and totally thought I published it. Not sure what happened there.]
Well, it’s really crunch time now. In less than two weeks, the movers are coming. I’m trying to tie up loose ends and get everything in boxes, etc.
So, I’m feeling a little blah about doing a post today. I apologize for the lack of enthusiasm, but I wanted to do a post to let you all know that there will be at least one guest post (hopefully more – contact me if you want to contribute!) while I’m moving, but I doubt if I’ll be able to do much myself.
As they say, see you on the flip side! (Okay, I don’t really know anyone who says that)
Here are a couple of links I thought were interesting this week:
I got some super-cute diaper accessories for my purse from PishPoshMommy via ScoopMama, so I no longer have to use an old crumpled up plastic shopping bag to tote my diaper supplies in. I love traveling in style (and I got a great deal, too!).
Calzones (from Jamie Geller’s Quick and Kosher cookbook) were on last night’s menu. As I was chopping up the fresh parsley (yum), I also chopped part of my finger (ouch!). I did a number on it apparently, since it didn’t stop bleeding for an hour. My husband, the doctor, was home, but all he could really do was tell me to keep applying pressure (hey, I knew that anyways). I was tempted to take a picture of the digit’s damage, but my husband pointed out that perhaps my readers would be put off by the graphic image (you can thank him later). So, I took a picture of one of the calzones for which I made such a sacrifice. Here it is:
Oh, hi Mom, don't mind me, I'll just be looking in this box over here...
This baby is not even eight months old yet. I thought I would have more time. This is about when my other son starting standing, too (and he started walking at nine-and-a-half months). Gulp. Also, can you see his peyos in this pic? They are massively long! And it’s all natural!
I have peyos and I'm so happy!
It took me a little while to find the picture of his brother standing, but here we are (sorry for the red eyes):
You may have heard about the Hasidic newspaper which edited the photo of the security team in the Situation Room. One of my mom’s friends even asked her about it, and she in turn asked me. I didn’t feel like I gave a very good response. It was a little bit knee-jerk, a little bit apologetic. Not exactly my finest moment.
My friend Ruchi responded in a different, much more eloquent and thoughtful way. Here is her blog post discussing this event.
Boys will be boys? Girls want to be princesses? Mara over at Kosher on a Budget asks if our kids’ toys affect their attitudes toward gender roles.
Do you know what your kids are playing with at their friends’ houses? Finally, Joan over at NJ.com raises a question I wouldn’t have thought to ask, but that is an important one.
Well, I meant to close this poll long, loooong ago, but since I didn’t, I got a whole bunch of votes. Here are the results:
The crib-only fans edged into the lead at the last minute, closely followed by those who employ both methods. Trailing quite a bit behind were the dedicated bed-sharers.
As with many areas of parenting, where your baby sleeps can be a hot-button topic. I didn’t intend to share my bed with my babies, and, indeed, tried really hard at first to sit upright while doing the nighttime feeds. I got a big, comfy sitting-up pillow (the kind with the arms, really useful for reading in bed) and I really attempted to stay awake for the feeding and the burping. It was a total FAIL. I fell asleep anyways, and then I would awaken with a start, terrified that I had dropped my baby, or inflicted some other harm (G-d forbid). The only way I could stay awake was if I nursed him in front of the computer, and then I couldn’t fall back asleep. So I was either insanely sleep-deprived or terrified of dropping my child.
this is the goal
Then my doula told me about the magical nursing-while-laying down method, and introduced me to co-sleeping. And I didn’t look back.
However, when I first mentioned to an acquaintance-type-person that I was sharing my bed with my baby, her horrified reaction indicated that this was not a universally-accepted practice. So I kept quiet, but, little by little, I found more and more women who also employ this method.
My toddler now sleeps beautifully (bli ayin hara), and my baby (he’s seven months) spends much of the night in his Pack’n'play (we’re going to get a proper crib after we move, IY”H), but still hangs out with me sometimes (like, at 5 a.m.).
I’m in the process of writing a (long-overdue) post about co-sleeping for LadyMama, so if you have any opinions, experiences or information, please email me. I’d really appreciate it!
Also, check out the new poll in the sidebar! Can you tell I love exclamation marks?!
The results are in for this month’s poll! There was a much better turnout this time than last, so that was exciting (hey, it’s the little things).
I’ve heard many times that it’s important to date your spouse after marriage, you know, to nurture the relationship, to continue to relate to your spouse on an individual level (as opposed to a diapers, carpools and budgets level).
When I was becoming frum, the couple who I spent a lot of time with went out every Saturday night (in the winter, I think). This Aish.com article recommends having dates once a week. When I shared that with my husband he remarked,
“I don’t think we even dated once a week while we were dating.”
So we decided that, for us, once a month is good. That keeps us happy. We’ll revisit that as our family grows, but I feel that once a week isn’t a realistic goal for us (or for many people. Who can afford a babysitter four times a month?).
The results of the poll seemed to mirror that sentiment. The majority of you (62.5%) date when you can, that is, it’s not a regularly scheduled event, but not unheard of either. The next group, at 28.13% doesn’t appear to even go on dates (you should really try it, no really!!), and at the bottom, with under 10%, were the regularly-scheduled daters.
That bit surprised me a little. I would’ve thought that more people would be scheduled daters than non-daters. But that’s why I do polls. To learn about you, my readers. So, thanks for participating!
The new poll is up in the sidebar, so take a minute and let me know what you think!